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Nobody raises Srini issue at the meeting

- Big question: Who nominated ‘suspended’ president?
Narayanswamy Srinivasan

Calcutta: Even if Narayanswamy Srinivasan wasn’t welcomed with open arms during the two-day meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s executive board, “nobody” raised the issue of him having effectively been suspended as president of the clout-wielding Board of Control for Cricket in India.

The meeting, in Dubai, where the ICC is headquartered, got over on Thursday.

That Srinivasan was set to attend the meeting was first reported by The Telegraph, from Dhaka, on April 6. As mentioned in that report, he did so as a “nominee” of the Board.

Whether that still constitutes a contempt of the Supreme Court’s interim order, issued on March 28, remains to be seen. But Aditya Verma, secretary of the Cricket Association of Bihar, who has given Srinivasan and a clutch of others sleepless nights, has vowed to swing into action.

Expect some hungama then.

What’s abundantly clear is that Srinivasan doesn’t have to sit in the president’s chair to call the shots in the Board. Particularly when his detractors, in a tactical move, are biding time.

Irrespective of the grave charges against son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and the Supreme Court’s rather stunning “nauseating” observation, which preceded the interim order, Srinivasan remains king.

You may not like Srinivasan, but he’s emerged as one of a kind.

“If India’s Board is happy to nominate Srinivasan, why should the ICC create a fuss? Of course, there could be a dramatic change if your Supreme Court orders an independent inquiry (on April 16) and the terms of reference includes Srinivasan’s conduct,” a well-placed source, based overseas, told this Reporter.

So, unless there’s a “dramatic change,” Srinivasan will become the first chairman of a restructured ICC, in June.

The well-placed source added: “Privately, some directors on the ICC’s executive board are concerned about the developments in India, but there’s no charge, as yet, against Srinivasan. He’s also not being investigated.”

Technically, today, that’s correct.

For now, the attention is back on the Supreme Court, with Wednesday being the Big Day.

Within the Board, some of those who’ve been severely embarrassed at the turn of events, particularly in the Supreme Court, are quietly asking: “Who decided to send Srinivasan as the Board’s nominee?”

After all, there was (a) No Board meeting, at any level, to discuss the issue; (b) No tele-conference featuring, among others, the vice-presidents...

Will the Supreme Court, which has made Sunil Gavaskar the Board’s interim president-IPL and assigned Shivlal Yadav to look after the other matters, take note?

And, to what extent?

Inexplicably, no Board meeting has been called to review the situation, generally, after the Supreme Court’s interim order.

Meanwhile, the IPL’s COO, Sundar Raman, who is to Srinivasan what Amit Shah is to Narendra Modi, was “very much visible” over the two days of the ICC’s executive board meeting.

Certain individuals in the Board may be under the impression that they’re close to Srinivasan, but he trusts Raman the most.

“I did see the IPL’s COO with Srinivasan,” the well-placed source pointed out.

It couldn’t, however, be confirmed if Raman attended Tuesday’s meeting of the ICC’s finance and commercial affairs committee. He’s been placed there by Srinivasan.

Footnote: Pakistan, one learns, could end its opposition to the restructuring of the ICC and come on board with the rest of the Test-playing nations. Najam Sethi looks to be taking a different line from Zaka Ashraf, his predecessor as the Board chairman.